Oncology Care - Diagnosis & Treatment At Fortis Hospitals Mumbai
Other than common blood tests, complete blood count (CBC) and blood protein testing, tumour marker tests are used to detect cancer cells in the blood. However, tumour markers are also produced by some normal cells in the body and levels may be significantly elevated even in noncancerous conditions.
Tumour markers include:
- Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) - indication of prostate cancer
- Prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP) - indication of prostrate, testicular cancer and leukaemia
- Cancer antigen 125 (CA 125) - indication of ovarian cancer
- Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) - indication of colorectal cancer
- Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) - indication of liver, ovarian and testicular cancer
- Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) - indication of testis, ovary, liver, stomach, pancreas and lung cancer
- CA 19-9 - indication of colon, stomach and bile duct cancer
- CA 15-3 - indication of ovarian, lung and prostate cancer
- CA 27-29 - indication of breast, colon, stomach, kidney, lung, ovary, pancreas, uterus and liver cancer
- Bone scan
- Computerised tomography (CT) scan
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Positron emission tomography (PET) scan
- Ultrasonography (USG)
- Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
- Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD or also called upper endoscopy)
Other tests for cancer detection
- Biopsy (bone marrow, needle, skin, surgical biopsy)
- Genetic testing
- Flow cytometry
- Pap smear (Pap test) - indication of cervical cancer
The goal of cancer treatment is to achieve a cure for the cancer, thereby allowing patients to live a normal life span. If a complete cure is not possible, the treatment will be utilised to shrink the tumour or slow down the growth of the cancer, enabling patients to live a symptom-free life for as long as possible. The following treatments maybe used by our Oncology team:
- Primary treatment - the goal is to completely remove the cancer from the patient’s body or kill all the cancer cells. The most common primary treatment for cancer is surgery. If the cancer is responsive to radiation therapy or chemotherapy, the care team may suggest one of these as the primary treatment for cancer.
- Adjuvant treatment - the goal is to destroy cancer cells that may remain after the primary treatment. This may reduce the chances of the cancer reoccurring. Common adjuvant treatments include chemotherapy, radiation therapy and hormone therapy. Neoadjuvant treatment is similar but it is performed before the primary treatment in order to make the primary treatment easier and more effective.
- Palliative treatment - the goal is to help the side-effects of treatment or signs/symptoms of cancer itself. Surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy are used to relieve symptoms. Other medications are also used for relieving symptoms such as shortness of breath, pain etc. Palliative treatment may also be used along with the other cancer treatments.
Based on the clinical condition, type and stage of cancer, the care team in consultation with the patient, creates a customised treatment plan, falling into the following broad categories: